Finally today, I got to see the new Minute to Win It sneak preview. There are some pros and cons, but I can tell you just like other reviews, the version stays close to the NBC version. In fact, very close.
A few pros are obvious. Apolo is a good host. Fieri carried the show well, but was annoying. I'll give Buzzerblog's Alex Davis credit for saying "he'll pay money to not have Fieri back on the show." At least on this NBC revival, Apolo was a better new host than Carrie Ann.
The first stunt started at :06, a little long but slightly faster than American Bible Challenge. At the beginning, the show does a simple job with introducing the couple.
The bad: It's too close to the NBC version. Minus Ohno, it looks exactly the same. Same set. Same audience. Same background. Plus for the most part, the same stunts. There were a few new stunts/changes to the NBC stunts. GSN did use simple stunts at first, then a few complicated ones.
The money ladder GSN used was just around my guess. It's not cheap, and the safe levels are actually more than I expected. Do five stunts as a couple, and you are locked in at $10,000. Even after taxes, that's mad money for GSN after some previous cheap originals.
To be harsh, I do not see this getting a second season. GSN did not get rid of the malfunctions of the NBC version. There are still cuts in the middle of stunts more than once an episode. There is still a ton of time wasted (i.e. The contestant talking to her twin sister). For the whole hour, there were only nine stunts (the seventh done three times). That's the same as NBC Minute.
GSN will really need to do a lot of out-of-network advertisement for this, maybe even on NBC. This will do well at first, but by the end of July or August there's a feeling some of the new runs will stoop below the levels of The Pyramid or even lower. Once again, this is the same type of situation as The Pyramid: "Been there, done that". It's just that this new version has almost nothing new to the version, while Pyramid did.
2.5 stars of five.